Through a partnership with the City of Omaha, Front Porch Investments is honored to join the City in their commitment to create and preserve affordable housing, and support access to affordable housing for renters, homebuyers and homeowners.
The City’s $20 million investment will be matched by Front Porch Investments through $20 million in secured philanthropic contributions. The City will also apply for an additional $20 million available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), increasing the partnership and allocation for affordable housing to $60 million, making it the largest program funded with ARPA dollars.
“Front Porch is a trusted and proven partner, bringing together funders with community stakeholders, impacted residents, housing-supportive nonprofits, and developers to meet the city’s urgent housing needs,” said City of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.
Front Porch deploys impact-driven funds through a combination of low-interest loans and catalytic grantmaking, providing a simplified investment model for funders, and a one-stop shop for developers and non-profits working toward filling the housing gap.
“Successfully addressing the affordable housing crisis in the Greater Omaha Metro will require a collective effort,” said Meridith Dillon, executive director of Front Porch Investments. “Fortunately, we are seeing the urgency of the City’s housing needs being met with support from stakeholders across our community. What brings hope and encouragement is the advocacy and hard work of many nonprofit organizations, along with interest and excitement from existing and new developers, braided with this City of Omaha ARPA partnership, and implemented by Front Porch Investments’ innovative solutions to leverage funding from public and private sources.”
The ARPA funds will serve households earning less than 120% of area median income and prioritize those earning less than 80% of area median income, and will be allocated in several ways:
- Short-term loans and grants to increase affordable and mixed-income housing by developing a variety of for-sale and rental affordable housing options across the city
- Acquisition, site remediation and preparation, and pre-development of properties for affordable housing projects
- Homebuyer support including down payment assistance
- Preservation of existing affordable housing units
ARPA funds must be spent by 2026. The City and Front Porch Investments have developed a strategy to use a majority of the $20 million in ARPA funds twice before the deadline through one round of short-term loans followed by a round of grants to housing supportive nonprofits.
Applications for the first round of funding are expected to be available in August, and the first round of funding will specifically target projects needing short-term (18-24 months) loans. These loans will be repaid in 2025, making the money available for a second time in the form of grants. Applications will be vetted through a strategic priorities lens and reviewed by a scoring committee based on a range of criteria. Loan funding applications will also be put through rigorous underwriting by a funds management partner.
To further expand the program, the City will apply for a HUD Section 108 Loan, the City will apply for a HUD Section 108 Loan. If approved, the Section 108 funds would be loaned at low interest through Front Porch Investments for projects approved by HUD and meeting federal guidelines. There is no obligation to taxpayers. These Section 108 funds will be set aside for rehabilitation of multi-family housing, and new construction in HUD designated Choice neighborhoods in north and south Omaha.
“The Front Porch Investments team is honored to be entrusted with this partnership,” Dillon said. “We came to the work with our sleeves rolled up, ready to leverage funding from public and private sources, to create transformative impact as we house our community.”
Funding awards will be announced in November. To join the Front Porch Investments email list, click here.